Bev Francis

Born February 15, 1955
Geelong, Australia


Bev Francis, as a teenager, became an accomplished shot-putter in track and field. She progressed to powerlifting where she won six world titles from 1980-85 and earned the accolade of “Strongest Woman in History”. In 1983, Francis was invited to attend the Caesar’s World Cup in Las Vegas.

The contest was, in fact, a vehicle against which to film Pumping Iron II: The Women, and Francis was added to the event as a means of portraying what was then thought to be, for a female, the muscular extreme. At the other end of the female-form spectrum was the movie’s purported star, Rachel McLish. Francis’s appearance sparked a major “How much muscle is too much?” debate within the bodybuilding community.

At the contest, Francis met IFBB judge and powerlifter Steve Weinberger, whom she eventually married. She relocated to Weinberger’s Long Island abode. In 1986, she entered her first IFBB Ms. Olympia contest and placed 10th. The next year, she won the IFBB Women’s World Pro Championships and was third in that year’s IFBB Ms. Olympia, a placing she duplicated in ’88 and ’89 as a prelude to becoming the 1990 runner-up.

At the 1991 IFBB Ms. Olympia, she presented the most muscular female physique ever seen and finished as a controversial runner-up to Lenda Murray. In the wake of Francis’ 1991 physique, the sport tried to overhaul procedure.

Thus, in her career, Francis twice literally revolutionized her chosen sport. She and Weinberger live in Syosset, Long Island, as co-owners of Bev Francis Gold’s Gym.


Hall of Fame Inductees for 2000